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Fifteen students win $40,000 Medallion Scholarships
July 21, 2009
KALAMAZOO--Fifteen freshmen have won coveted Medallion Scholarships to begin their studies at Western Michigan University this fall.
Medallion Scholarships are among the highest honors WMU can bestow on an incoming freshman. Valued at $40,000 each over four years, they constitute one of the largest merit-based awards in American higher education.
Eight of this year's incoming scholars received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship. The remaining seven scholars received awards that bear the names of their scholarships' donors or the individuals for whom the scholarships were established.
The 2009 recipients were announced in late June. The students were selected after competing for the awards in the 26th annual Medallion Scholarship Program Competition Jan. 24 at WMU.
The daylong competition included essay writing and group problem solving activities and an informational session for the participants' parents. A total of 512 seniors from across Michigan and the United States participated in the event.
Invitations to compete were based on a combination of grade point averages and ACT scores, and were extended to students who had applied to WMU by Dec. 1, 2008. Students participating in the competition were guaranteed at least a $3,000 Dean's Scholarship to attend WMU.
This year's Medallion Scholars have an average ACT score of 28 and a grade point average of 4.05. They will begin their studies at WMU in the fall and are scheduled to graduate during the 2012-13 academic year.
For more information about Medallion Scholarships, contact Carolyn Smith, Medallion coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (269) 387-2019.
2009 Medallion Scholars
- Cara M. Cremeans, of Jackson, Mich., received the Harold and Beulah McKee Endowed Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in business with a marketing of health and wellness focus. She graduated from Lumen Christi Catholic High School and is the daughter of Curtis and Joan Cremeans of Jackson. A three-year member of the National Honor Society, Cremeans was a class officer all four years of high school, serving as president her last three years. In addition, she was a four-year member of the French Club, the Building With Books Service Club, Campus Ministry, and the track and cross country teams. Cremeans, a former cross country team captain, earned numerous athletic honors, including being named to several All-State and Academic All-State teams. She was elected 2008 Homecoming queen based on her extensive volunteer activities and is a certified lifeguard who taught water aerobics for the city of Jackson. Her community service activities included long-term involvement with the Senior Citizen Evergreen Prom, Special Days Cancer Camp, Adopt-A-Highway, and the Jackson Area Catholic Family Fall Festival. She also tutored elementary students in French, was a handicap horseback riding volunteer, and was a team leader for a Building With Books Service Club project in Nicaragua.
- Joshua J. Disbrow, of Kalamazoo, received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in engineering. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and is the son of Anna and Perry Disbrow of Kalamazoo. Disbrow was a member of the physics club and served as its vice president. He also participated in wrestling, football, baseball and lacrosse and was a Boy Scout.
- Elizabeth R. Kaczmarek, of Midland, Mich, received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in French. She graduated from Midland High School and is the daughter of Nicholas and Linda Kaczmarek of Midland. A one-year member of the National Honor Society, Kaczmarek participated throughout high school in band, vocal music, the drama club and district Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association one-act competitions. She was a dance captain with the theatre program, a member of an honors musical group, and a first-chair viola player in the orchestra as well as the orchestra's treasurer. Kaczmarek also was a member of the Key Club and tennis team for two years and visited England and France through the People to People Student Ambassador Programs. Her community service activities included participating in the Midland County Student Leadership Program; her church's youth outreach team; Teenage Musicals Inc., which she also served as a student representative to the board; the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program; and the Red Cross Safety Town, which she served twice as a group leader.
- Joshua A. Kallen, of Kalamazoo, received the Emeriti Endowed Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in psychology. He graduated from Portage Central High School and is the son of Hugh and Kathleen Kallen of Kalamazoo. He earned a Silver Award for Academic excellence his freshman year and gold awards his three remaining years of high school. Kallen was a four-year member of the chess club, for which he served a term as president; the band, in which he served as a section leader; jazz band, in which he served as a section leader; the Go Club, which he founded; and Business Professionals of America, in which he served as a team captain. Kallen also was a varsity team member of the Science Olympiad and was involved in theatre, vocal music and the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship. His community service activities included serving with a youth group, adopting and refurbishing a section of the Open Door Shelter for Women and numerous scouting and community projects through Boy Scouts. An Eagle Scout, Kallen was recognized in 2008 as an outstanding leader at the Camp Madron Boy Scout camp and named the youngest director in the camp's history. This summer, he is serving as senior level director, assisting the camp with hiring personnel and developing programs.
- Megan M. Lappe, of Holland, Mich., received the John and Ramona Bernhard Endowed Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in fine arts. She graduated from West Ottawa High School and is the daughter of Patrick and Patricia Mahoney of Holland. A one-year member of the National Art Honors Society, Lappe has participated in district art competitions and earned varsity letters and academic awards in art, social studies and English. She was involved throughout high school in visual art; track; and cross county, in which she served as a team captain. Lappe also has participated in ballet, debate, the Gay Straight Alliance and the Cultural Technological Environmental Exchange. Her community service activities included volunteering for Vacation Bible School at Beechwood Church and at three WOstock musical festivals. Those festivals feature two days of benefit concerts at West Ottawa High School to benefit the Cultural Technological Environmental Exchange, a nonprofit West Ottawa organization that installs computer stations in schools and centers in Africa to advance the use of technology on that continent.
- Jordan R. Lewis, of Mattawan, Mich., received the Roy and Beulah Kendall Endowed Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in general business. He graduated from Mattawan High School and is the son of Jerry and Lisa Lewis of Matawan. A one-year member of the National Honor Society, Lewis was involved throughout high school in the Peer Assistant Leaders program and attended several of the program's state conferences. He also was a four-year member of the marching, concert and honors bands as well as participated in numerous district band festivals. Lewis served as captain of Teen Heart and the Model UN Club his senior year and was a Model UN head delegate and a recipient of the Model UN verbal commendation. His community service activities included mentoring incoming freshmen, creating video productions for both his school and church, teaching Sunday School, and participating in the Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure.
- Erika V. Mammen, of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., received the Merze Tate Endowed Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in history. She graduated from Grosse Pointe North High School and is the daughter of Rolf and Linda Mammen of Grosse Pointe Woods. A two-year member of the National Honor Society, Mammen was involved for three years with the Impact Club, the visual arts program and the swim team. She also participated in the GPN Jaguars intramural soccer team. Her community service activities included serving in a special needs lunch buddy program, as a volunteer worker at St. John Hospital, and as a Camp Daggett Program aide. In addition, Mammen worked as a lifeguard at Grosse Pointe Woods Lakefront Park.
- Amelia M. Martin, of Jenison, Mich., received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in philosophy. She graduated from Jenison High School and is the daughter of David and Pamela Martin of Jenison. Listed on the honor roll throughout high school, Martin was active in the arts. She participated for three years in vocal music and was a member of the Chamber Singers as well as a competitor at several state and district solo and ensemble events. She also was a member of the drama club and earned a State Thespian Festival Award of Excellence in Stage Management. In addition, Martin took part in student government, serving as treasurer and secretary of the student council, and the Peer Adolescent Listener Club. Her community service activities included volunteering at Degage Ministries and volunteering with Toys for Tots. She also traveled to England, France and Italy through the People to People Student Ambassador Programs.
- Rebecca S. Monterusso, of Grandville, Mich., received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to decide on a major after beginning her WMU classes. She graduated from Grandville High School and is the daughter of Angie and Jeff Hartford of Grandville and Tom Monterusso of Grand Rapids, Mich. A two-year member of the National Honor Society, Monterusso participated in forensics throughout high school and was on the Student Council for three years. She also was involved in theatre for two years and was a member of the swimming team for three years as well as the softball team for two years. Her community service activities included volunteering at the YMCA and with the Humane Society.
- Fernanda Pereira, of Canton, Mich., received the Diether and Carol Haenicke Endowed Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in chemical engineering. She graduated from Canton High School and is the daughter of Ricardo and Celia Pereira of Canton. A two-year member of the National Honor Society, Pereira is a Sao Paulo, Brazil, native who moved to the United States as a young teenager. She served three years as Student Council president, four years as yearbook copy editor and two years as a member of the track team. She also participated throughout high school in pointe and ballet, attaining the rank of dance leader as well as earning four local Dance Connection awards. Pereira worked for four years as a Kumon math and reading tutor and traveled to Europe through a German American Partnership Program student exchange. Her community service activities included working with a food bank and volunteering for school projects through the National Honor Society. She has earned tributes from the state of Michigan for her volunteer efforts on behalf of the Operation School Supplies and Operation Good Cheer campaigns.
- Nicole A. Powell, of Novi, Mich., received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in marketing. She graduated from Novi High School and is the daughter of Norm and Nancy Powell of Novi. A four-year member of the National Honor Society, Powell earned several academic awards. She was active throughout high school in the Art Club, serving terms as president and treasurer; the Interact Club, serving a term as historian; and Students Against Destructive Decisions. She also was a four-year member of the band and not only rose to play first-chair flute and to captain the color guard, but also to place first in several state and district solo and ensemble competitions. In addition, Powell was a three-year member of WinterGuard, in which she served as a team captain, and was involved in theatre, dance and softball. She earned a variety of accolades for her achievements and community service, such as recognition awards from the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, Novi Youth Assistance and the Novi Police Department. Her community service activities included participating in numerous band fund-raising and Catholic Social Services projects, four years of serving as a teacher aide at Novi Middle School; mentoring freshmen, participating in Relay for Life, and volunteering with Hamtramck Cat Rescue, in which she served as a co-leader.
- Christopher E. Reed, of Decatur, Mich., received the William Robinson Endowed Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in business. He graduated from Marcellus High School and is the son of Edward and Kelly Reed of Decatur. A three-year member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society, Reed earned awards in biology, English and math as well as the Principals Award for seven consecutive semesters. He received two Awards of Excellence in the Wright Stuff event at Science Olympiads and attended two youth leadership conferences. He also served as a class officer throughout high school, one year as treasurer and three years as president, and was a four-year member and three-year section leader of the band. In addition, Reed was the football team's starting quarterback for three years, played baseball for three years and basketball for two years. He served at least one year as captain of the football, baseball and basketball teams as well as earned all-conference honors at least once in each of those sports. Reed earned three Student Council service awards. His community service activities included working on 4-H and church projects, chairing the National Honor Society blood drive, coaching rocket football, refereeing junior pro basketball, and announcing junior varsity football games and girls varsity basketball games.
- Michael Z. Rux, of Lyons, Mich., received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in music. He graduated from Ionia High School and is the son of Ted and Rose Rux of Lyons. A two-year member of the National Honor Society, Rux served a term as student council treasurer and was a three-year member of the French and chess clubs. He was involved in theatre and track for two years, won a Poetry Out Loud award, and participated throughout high school in the choir, marching band, jazz band and symphonic band. Rux, who was a horn section leader as well as a vocal music section leader, participated in numerous band and vocal festivals and qualified three consecutive times for the state Symphonic Band competition. He also was a Class B Outstanding Jazz Band winner at the Central Michigan University Jazz Weekend, qualified to perform in state vocal solo competitions and qualified to participate in a state Quiz Bowl competition.
- Samantha A. Simpson, of Warren, Mich., received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in biomedical sciences. She graduated from Warren Woods Tower High School and is the daughter of Michael and Jeanine Simpson of Warren. A one-year member of the National Honor Society, Simpson graduated magna cum laude. She took part for three years in Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals/Michigan Association of Honor Societies Leadership camp and was nominated to be a congressional page. She served three years on the student council, one year as vice president; was editor-in-chief and business manager of the school paper for two years; and was a member of the French club, Spanish club, Truth and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Simpson also was a three-year member of the track and cross country teams, winning a Most Team Spirit award in cross country, and a one-year member of the swimming team. Outside of class, she helped write an activities book for secondary teachers that was scheduled to be printed this spring and has worked at Taco Bell. In the latter job Simpson was quickly promoted to crew trainer and was recognized as her store's equivalent of employee of the month for 11 straight months and for all of metro Detroit's stores for one month. Her community service activities included chairing the student Council Habitat for Humanity pep rally and fund-raiser, volunteering at the Gleaner's Food Bank, working with and leading her church youth group, and serving twice as president twice of her Girl Scout troop.
- Jacob A. Wilkins, of Rochester Hills, Mich., received a Presidential Medallion Scholarship and plans to major in music. He graduated from the International Academy and is the son of Cliff and Kay Ellen Wilkins of Rochester Hills. A Congressional Student Leadership Conference nominee, Wilkins played the tenor saxophone in the concert, symphonic and jazz bands throughout high school as well as studied piano for 12 years and bass guitar for five years. He was a concert band section leader and assistant conductor and received an Award of Distinction from the International Academy Department of Music and composed and performed an original composition for the International Academy's Creative Arts Program. In addition, Wilkins earned 12 years of superior rankings in piano solo from the National Federation of Music Clubs, and received the President's Cup, the highest award possible, from the National Federation of Music Clubs. He also was involved in vocal music, serving as an accompanist, warm-up leader and substitute his senior year. Wilkins is an advanced scuba diver and earned an academic scholarship from the Red Cross. He has worked as a teaching assistant for a theory class at the Rochester Conservatory and as a freelance piano instructor. His community service activities included a four-year affiliation with Project People, through which he did rebuilding, construction and cleanup work for low-income households; playing the piano at Waltonwood Senior Center; participating in the St. Irenaeus Adult Parish Choir; and helping out with various church-related projects and programs.
Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, email@example.com
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